By Jessica Russo
Everybody dreams about Thailand - the turquoise waters, lush green rainforests, local street food vendors, vibrant cities, and golden temples. But, where do you go to see all of that? Take a journey through the most popular destinations in Thailand and plan the bucket-list trip of your dreams.
Alright, everybody knows about Bangkok, the bustling capital of Thailand. You may not know, however, that it's known for its ornate shrines, culture-packed street life, and sizzling street life. This amazing city is home to the eye-widening Grand Palace and the sacred Wat Phra Kaew Temple! Nestled on the boat-filled Chao Phraya River, Bangkok is the sure place to immerse yourself in the fast-paced side of Thailand.
The former capital of the Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Mai is known as Bangkok's "calm, laid-back little sister." Take a relaxing stroll and pick up some amazing street food along the way. Weave in and out of forested foothills, and appreciate the city's mix of modern and ancient attributes. Chiang Mai is famous for its coloful night market and its surrounding national parks - Doi Inthanon, Doi Khun Tan, Op Luang, Khun Chae, and Si Lanna - picture-perfect is an understatement.
Picture this: lush green rainforests to your right and crystal-clear turquoise water to your left. This mountainous island in the Andaman Sea is the go-to spot for pristine beaches, seaside resorts, spas, and trendy restaurants. Phuket is filled with markets, nightclubs, and bars, which creates the perfect "relax by day, party by night" attitude!
North of Bangkok, you'll find Ayutthaya nestled within Thailand's breathtaking countryside. Once the capital of the Kingdom of Siam, Ayutthaya was a prosperous international trading port from 1350 to 1767, when it was destroyed by the Burmese. The ruins of this fascinating old city have become Ayutthaya Historical park, an archeological site that contains palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries, and statues. Step back in time and immerse yourself in the magic of ancient Thailand!
This stunning resort town near the Andaman coast will leave you anything but "crabby." Treat yourself to a tropical drink in a pineapple and relax on Krabi's untouched beaches. This town lies in an area of limestone karsts and mangrove forests - its rock formations seem too beautiful to be real! Climb the steps to the Tiger Cave Temple, a hilltop Buddhist site with panoramic views! Be sure to take some photos in-front of Khao Kanab Nam, Krabi's iconic two hills that rise out from the water.
This mountainous city in northern Thailand borders Laos and Myanmar! This majestic area is home to Wat Rong Khun, otherwise known as the "White Temple." Visit Phu Chi Fa, a national forest park laden with mountainous landscapes, spectacular views, and glistening waterfalls. Feel your eyes widen as you visit colorful temples and become immersed in the city's vibrant nightlife scene.
Phi Phi Islands
This island group, between Phuket and the west Strait of Malacca coast of the mainland, is known in Thailand as Koh Phi Phi. These stunningly beautiful islands rank as one of Thailand's very best attractions, and are located around 40km west of the Krabi coast! Be sure to visit Koh Phi Phi Leh & Maya Bay, Phi Phi View Point, Bamboo Island, and Viking Cave. The bright turquoise waters, soaring rock formations, and lush greenery will make you feel like you're in a real-life postcard.